Camilo José Cela University presents an educational platform to train teachers in vulnerable contexts

SEK Education Group, through the Camilo José Cela University Foundation, presents EachTeach, an educational platform to train teachers in vulnerable contexts. The project’s goal is to reach 150 teachers by the end of 2021, with a proven impact in the classroom through the improvement of teaching skills.

The EachTeach initiative seeks to promote a circular economy of knowledge and for each teacher to personalise their learning experience at the desired level and pace. It is a pedagogical model based on practice and work, with a modular and flexible design, through which the teacher can acquire incremental certifications. Furthermore, the platform offers teachers the possibility of creating their own content, hence the name of the platform.

EachTeach is accessible from mobile devices and operates both online and offline, something essential in contexts of low Internet penetration, as is the case of the Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya), where the first pilot is already being applied.

The beginnings of the EachTeach project

The project, sponsored by the president of SEK Education GroupNieves Segovia, started in 2019 through the UCJC Foundation with the collaboration of the Women for Africa FoundationUNHCR and the Spanish Embassy, when a team of UCJC teachers was mobilised to analyse and evaluate the needs and resources of teachers in Kakuma. The findings showed a enormous lack of material and human resources, as well as the awareness of those surveyed in the transformative role of education in their social contexts and the high mass penetration of mobile phones.

In these environments there are significant limitations, such as low connectivity, very expensive connectivity fees, and limited access to NGO facilities where residents can consult content online.

The UCJC Foundation conducted interviews with dozens of teachers to finally select three women to be part of the pilot project: two came from South Sudan and one from Congo. All of them received scholarships from the in the Sabias de Kakuma project, to study and live at the UCJC Villafranca Campus, where they took part in a theoretical-practical programme with which they were trained in new teaching methods and education technology.

The role of teachers in meeting SDG4 by 2030

Five years after the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, UNESCO projections showed that will not meet the educational commitments of that agenda, Sustainable Development Goal 4, unless there is serious and committed progress in the coming decade. The role of teachers in meeting SDG4 by 2030 is essential.

Target 4 seeks to increase the supply of qualified teachers by 2030, and the global indicator is the proportion of teachers with the minimum organised training necessary to teach at the appropriate level in a given country. Regionally representative figures for this indicator are available for few regions, but those that exist show wide variation in the composition of the teaching workforce.

Among the areas with data, Central Asia has the highest proportion of trained teachers. In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 64% of primary school teachers and 50% of secondary school teachers have the minimum required training and this proportion has been declining since 2000, as a result of schools hiring unqualified teachers to fill teacher gaps at lower cost. Conditions in refugee camps are especially difficult.

The Kakuma refugee camp is no exception. Located in north western Kenya, near the border with South Sudan and initially established in 1992, the camp is home to 147,966 refugees from 20 different countries. More than half of the total population is under 18 years of age. A total of 35.7% of primary age students are not in school. The enrolment rate in Kakuma for secondary age students is even worse, with 95% of young people not enrolled.

Refugee teachers make up the majority of the teaching population in Kakuma, representing 85% of the teaching faculty. Despite the significant presence of refugee teachers, there are limited training opportunities in the camp. Even fewer teachers benefit from on-the-job supervision, mentoring, and certified professional development. Added to the lack of training are the overwhelming challenges teachers face, including overcrowding, different languages, limited teaching and learning materials, lack of furniture, and academically and socially disadvantaged students. Therefore, higher quality teacher professional development schemes and ongoing support in these settings are essential.

In response to these important needs and taking into account the lessons learned from previous initiatives, the UCJC Foundation launched the first EachTeach pilot in June 2019.